Is there a word greater than “miracle”? Is there a word that fully expresses that moment when the sky and the Universe open up and rain their blessings upon you? Whatever that word is, I invoke it today.
Today I watched as Oprah Winfrey welcomed Iyanla Vanzant back to the Oprah Show after an 11 year absence. It was a tour de force demonstration of what it looks when two masters sit down and have a difficult conversation, tinged by hurt, sadness, and anger, while both stand completely in ownership and responsibility. It is so rare to see this kind of conversation anywhere, let alone on television. It was so clearly unscripted, so clearly from the heart, and it reminded me of the one of the greatest miracles I have ever experienced.
I am blessed to call Iyanla Vanzant my teacher, my mentor, my Mama. She helped me to save my life. Did you read that sentence the way that I wrote it? I didn’t say that she saved my life. I said that she helped ME to save MY life. When I entered her tutelage, I was in so much pain that I didn’t know how to live my life. I wasn’t sure that my life was worth saving.
This woman and her amazing team of angels showed me a path that my soul had been crying out for – a path of deep emotional honesty, personal responsibility, and claiming my gifts. Two years in her world quite literally changed my life. I am the person who I am today because her love reminded me how to love myself.
Let me be clear – I still have plenty of shit. As Iyanla said a few times today on Oprah, “There is some crazy that a pill can’t fix!” But those times when I thought that throwing myself off the roof of the tallest building was the best way to deal with the pain are a part of my memory. Thank you God.
My world is now filled with a rich network of beloved people from my time at Inner Visions Institute. There are my Inner Visions teachers and coaches – Rev. Nancy, Ken, Renee, Mama Almasi, among others. There are my soul-sisters, women who I may not speak to or see very often, but we know each other’s hearts without question – Judi, the two Danielles, Lisa, and so many more.
Watching Iyanla with Oprah today reminded me that I am beyond blessed and privileged to have spent two years in her care and the loving space that she has created for us, her students. She embodies the love, honesty, personal responsibility, humor, laughter, and grace that I strive for every day.
There is a Yiddish word bashert; it is often used in the context of soulmates who were destined to meet. When I think of how I ended up studying with Iyanla, it feels like bashert – I didn’t mean to be there, but thank heavens God knew better and put me exactly where I needed to be.
Thank you, Iyanla. You are a miracle in my life.